October 09, 2012

Halloween Character Booktacular w/ author Joy Preble & giveaway!


Baba Yaga’s Halloween Tale
By Joy Preble (author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series, Sourcebooks, and the forthcoming THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, Soho Press)

Baba Yaga sat in her hut in the forest. She was not still, never still. The mighty Baba Yaga was always in motion. Underneath the hut, two chicken legs scrabbled the earth, carrying her house this way and that. No predators could find her unless she willed it to be. Lost boys and girls might stumble upon her, but everyone knew what happened to them. Eaten. Ground to dust in the witch’s mortar, crushed into nothingness by the same pestle with which she stirred the air as she flew.

In her rocking chair by the fire, she mused and dreamed and planned. Her iron teeth glinted in the firelight and her huge hands rested on her lap. When she desire hot sweet tea to quench her thirst, one hand detached from her wrist and scuttled down her leg to the floor, clattering its thick, long nails on the wood as it went to fetch her drink. It was nice to be a witch. Nice to have the power. Occasionally a too thin child stuck between her teeth. But why quibble? She was Baba Yaga. These things sometimes happened.

But today her worries gnawed at her like she would often gnaw a stray child’s leg bone. Halloween was coming. All Hallow’s Eve. The night that spirits rose and walked the earth and things that went bump in the night showed themselves, solid and real as the humans who ran from them.

“Do not worry, Mistress,” her three horsemen—one red, one black, one white—told her. “You are the mighty Baba Yaga. The Wild Crone. You hold the power. What is one silly night?”

This did comfort her, a little. But here was thing: Baba Yaga had never appeared as anything but herself. What would it hurt, she pondered now, one enormous detached hand tapping at her huge chin, if for one night, she became something else?

The thought careened through her brain, then settled. Yes. She would do it. From under her rocking chair by the fire, her cat mewed loudly, threading its way around her roughened ankles. In the fire, the bones of the girl she had eaten for breakfast knocked against the huge logs as the remaining scraps of flesh burned.

But here was the question, as curious as that brat Vasilisa who had bested her by relying on the tiny magic doll she kept in her pocket. The girl who had been sent into the witch’s forest to get fire and who had lived. Baba Yaga admired Vasilisa as much as she despised her.

What did a witch become when she chose to wear a costume?

Baba Yaga rocked and sipped her hot sweet tea.

What indeed? Did she dare? Would she be so bold?


She would go as what she once was – a beauty who had sold her looks for power. She would dance and sing and remember.

And then, she would eat her fill of those pesky trick or treaters.
There was nothing like second hand Twizzler taste.

Yes. This was the plan.


Joy Preble is giving away a signed copy of ANASTASIA FOREVER. Open to the US ONLY. 

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment telling us what you think of Joy's story. Make sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you should win. 

Also, don't forget that by commenting today, you can also enter to win a Kindle and $25 Amazon Gift Card - HERE.  

Good luck! 



  1. I love the imagination and description of BaBa. Kinda creepy though!
    zenfox flowerATyahooDOTcom

  2. Joy's story was spooky fun!!! I wonder what all the witch will remember from her former life as she dances and sings for Halloween. Will she start to regret her choice? Great story! I love the witch's name too!

  3. Love the creepy story!! I also love BaBa Yaga even though she's not the nicest. I love how she's going to do all her dancing and singing from before and then go right back to her witchy ways : )

  4. I haven't read too much about Baba so I'm always eager for more. Very spooky story!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  5. I think it's a nice new Baba story. Love the last line on second hand Twizzlers ;).

  6. Scary but I have been really curious about scary reads... but not to scary. You can contact me on my twitter account @1wren.

  7. Creepy. I love it! I don't really like Twizzlers so second hand Twizzlers so really gross.

    drinkshrunkentears at gmail dot com

  8. I am so not good with these kinds of creepy stories!

  9. LOVE Russian fairy tales and culture, and this is such an awesome creepy story:)

    Thank you:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  10. Thanks for the great story and giveaway! I've always loved Baba Yaga :)


  11. This is a great story! Sure, it's creepy, but it's not so bad. Plus, it's Halloween, it's supposed to be creepy!

  12. In a weird way I would like to read more of this cute, ( not sure if cute is the right word) Halloweeny story. I love how a little witch is sitting back in her rocking chair,petting her cat, drinking her tea and thinking about eating some trick or treaters.

    Thank you for the giveaway

  13. Pretty book covers. Very chilling story. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Sue B

  14. Okay, Baba Yaga is super spooky creepy! ...I love it!! =D

    Thanks for the giveaway

  15. So vivid!! I love descriptive writing so I see in my mind. The book sounds awesome!! Thanks for an opportunity to win!!


  16. So vivid!! I love descriptive writing so I can see in my mind. The book sounds really awesome! Thank you for an opportunity to win!!

  17. Love the story! It's very descriptive. I don't see how tasty kids can be. I had one, I know what they put in their mouths. LOL

  18. What a creepy and exciting story. Joy is a master...nuff said.

  19. Sounds very creepy and exciting. Tore923@aol.com

  20. love Baba Yaga, she's creepy yet intriguing!


  21. Perfect for this time of the year:)


  22. I love stories about Baba Yaga. I really like the cartoon movie Bartok the Magnificent w/Baba Yaga in it. My daughter loved that mmovie.

    pefrw at yahoo dot com

  23. Very nice post.


  24. Oh~ I love it! Baba Yaga is so deliciously creepy. Who doesn't love a good trick or treater snack~ loved this!

  25. I loved the story because I love Baba Yaga! She's my favorite Crone! Your story captured her perfectly, especially the too thin child that occasionally gets stuck between her teeth! Great imagery! Thanks for sharing :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  26. I love this series. I happened upon Dreaming Anastasia at the library and thought it sounded really good so I brought it home with me. I ended up absolutely loving it, and luckily Haunted was available by the time I was finished. Book 2 did not suffer any kind of syndromes, and I can't wait to see how the series ends up. Thanks so much to you guys and to Joy Preble, for giving away a copy of the book. Rock on!


  27. I loved the detail and how she incorportates Baba Yaga. I have the whole series and am dying to read her latest! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  28. I love Halloween and I love all the detail in the story!

  29. I loved it!! I love Halloween and scary stories!! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  30. Baba reminds me of the witch in Hansel and Gretel. I love the line about second hand Twizzlers!

    volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

  31. Great story! Thanks for the giveaway.

    sable677 at yahoo dot com

  32. i like the book and the cover of all the books and then i would like to knw if you have bookmarks or the trading cards of the books

  33. "Second hand Twizzler taste" that really made me laugh. Great story! I love this series and I'm really looking forward to reading Forever Anastasia! Thanks for the chance to win!

  34. Baba Yaga has always been one of my favorite creepy tales. I wish there were more stories about her.


  35. I haven't heard of Baba Yaga before and when I started this story I was instantly reminded of the witch in Hansel and Gretel. That only lasted a few seconds, though, and I saw Baba Yaga as no other. I love this! I would definitely like to read on about her antics out and about amongst the trick or treaters! I like the writing; the interesting descriptions. Definitely going to add the Anastasia books to my TBR list now...

  36. PS: Forgot my email! RainyDae86@yahoo.com


  37. Baba Yaga reminds me of the witch in Hansel and Gretel...kinda freaky but a great write!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  38. I love the story of course but then again I think I tweeter that to you all the time. Hope your Texas tour goes fantastic! Winner email would be mooshujenne@gmail.com

  39. OMG...the 'secondhand twizzler taste" had me rolling!!!


  40. Creepy and adorable! Thabks for sharing!

  41. I really like this! My Mom used to tell me all about the Baba Yaga stories she read as a kid so its nice to see an old myth used in a fresh way.


  42. Ohh I loved it!!! Especially "There was nothing like second hand twizzler taste" LOL. Creepy!



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